We are an SNS generation
The SNS generation or N generation is a new term to explain people in their twenties. N is from Network, New and No. The SNS generation takes part in new politics or cultures by using network devises like SNS and does so confidently and without fear.
Twitter’s information spreading ability and young peoples’ disbelief in society combined and made SNS politics. In SNS politics, anyone can debate over issues that have been disregarded by mainstream media with a fair position. Web communities can also be used to share one’s hobbies. Young students can now post their opinions about political issues and share them with their friends.
Twitter is a place where young people can express their opinions and also listen to others’. Twitter’s effect on young peoples’ political participation was outstanding in issues like the 10.26 Seoul mayoral vote and half-price tuition. Especially, the 10.26 Seoul mayoral votes showed the fact that university students can be independent active participants in politics. Kim Yun-ji, a student of Hong-ik University, said, “Voting was an annoying event for me since I was not that interested in politics. However, my followers and I had many conversations about Seoul mayoral vote recently on twitter. At first, I was not familiar with that kind of discussion. However, I found it enjoyable as I can express my thoughts about ‘difficult’ political issues in my own way. Therefore, the discussion was not that hard and even enjoyable for me to share different thoughts with many people. Moreover, I learned that voting is my right and duty as a citizen.”
Podcast programs help university students to improve their political knowledge. ‘I am ggomsu (naneun ggomsuda)’ is the best example that can explain the effect of podcasts on university students’ political recognition. It is an internet radio program which features political issues like a TV comedy show. It is usual that university students gather and talk about political issues that ‘I am ggomsu’ covered. This program met the demands of university students who wanted to be a part of the political process.
‘I am ggumsu (naneun ggumsuda)’ is another podcast program that is made by three university students in succession ‘I am ggomsu’ is a political satire talk show. The title ‘I am ggumsu’ is meaningful. The reason for the title was about people in their twenties is set their tongues wagging like gum.
This program was made for university students in their twenties to express and exchange their opinions with critical views about politics and society. This podcast program is so easy to listen to by using smart phones. Therefore not only university students but also men and women of all ages can take an interest in politics. SNS and the media play an important role in promoting this program. In conclusion, this podcast program became one of the channels to participate in politics and ponder about the problems for those in their twenties.
Two edged sword
There are positive aspects and negative aspects about the participation of those in their twenties through SNS and other forms of media. Jung Yong-kuk, a professor of the department of mass communication, said, “Many people including those in their twenties and university students express their opinions through SNS and media because there are few channels and opportunities for them to do so. This participation of those in their twenties and other people is a good phenomenon. However, there are some problems. Biased broadcasting through SNS can detract values of fairness, objectivity and truth that are basic values of journalism.”
Professor. Jung took notice of the positive aspects of this kind of participation. “People are far from being fools. They can think deeply and judge political issues. Active participation can be a good opportunity to check the power of citizens so, participating through SNS and other media is better than staying indifferent to politics and society. If SNS plays a role of supplementing mainstream media, the future of our society looks promising.”
It is evident that the development of SNS has changed the young generation’s attitude toward politics. University students do not have to be bystanders in this society. They can observe our society and express their opinions by tweeting about elections or making their own parody shows. They can observe that participating in politics is one of their rights and duties. Some negative aspects of this change are noted. Podcasts like ‘I’m a ggumsu’ are likely to disobey the rules of journalism since they can be biased. But what form of media is not biased. You will find very few. However, those in their twenties participation in politics has more positive aspects than negative aspects. Especially, during the by-election this October, showed the importance of the media and SNS. The more people in their twenties participate in politics, the better our society will become and the healthier.
Sim Su-ji, Ha Sun-jin firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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